1. Just so you know: The U.S. boasted 1/3 of all high-performing students in both reading and science among the OCED nations–far more than our next closest competitor Japan. On math, we claimed 14% of the high performers, with Japan coming in at 15.2% and South Korea 16.2%
2. The federal government now has 4 major college-prep programs for disadvantaged students; collectively they’re known as TRIO. All have been deemed “ineffective” when it comes to getting low-income students to college and graduation.
3. Obama now wants to redefine how it calculates children’s socioeconomic status, so it can tie test scores to such variables as whether their parents own or rent their homes, receive medical assistance, and so on.
4. Obama’s talk of a cigarette tax to generate $78 billion for pre-school education programs has been pretty much of a non-starter.
5. Obama’s STEM efforts amount to $3 billion in costs with as much as 83% of those programs overlapping at least one other program, so he’s now calling for the elimination of 78 of the 226 STEM initiatives.
6. The U. S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition will award $150 million for new ideas that help improve student success, but this time it will require that winners secure private-sector funding, too.
7. The U.S. Department of Education has announced that it’s awarding more than $1.3 million to the Newtown Public School District to help with recovery efforts.
8. The latest Race to the Top grant competition is offering $490 million to districts for general education improvement ideas and to states for more early-learning initiatives.
9. The final version of the new science standards are now out and aim to provide a foundation of important knowledge and get kids to apply that learning via scientific inquiry and the engineering-design process for deeper understanding.